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Morecambe community café open its doors

A new community café and food pantry has officially opened its doors, thanks to financial support from Great Places Housing Group.
Food pantry volunteers Audrey Woodhouse (left) and Ruth Nightingale (right) with Great Places customer Freya Setterfield

The Sanctuary Café, on Queen Street, has been supported with a total of £16,000 to help them set up during the Covid pandemic and move forward following the end of the pandemic which was a lifeline to people in need.

The initial project was so successful that they quickly outgrew their initial home and Great Places helped to fund some of the renovations in their new base.

They have almost 400 families registered with them, around a hundred who access the pantry on a weekly basis of which more than 20 of these are GP customers.

Rosie Longden, Great Places’ Head of Community Investment, said: “The opening of the Sanctuary Café in their new homes represents a lot of hard work by a lot of good people.

“The value of the service was proven during the pandemic where it became a lifeline to those who needed help in those most difficult of times.

“And in this cost of living crisis we have seen the service really take off as money becomes tighter due to the spike in food and energy prices.

“We were able to provide funding through our Social Value programme, where we ask for donations from the companies we contract for services throughout our business.

“It’s a fantastic initiative and we are so pleased to see a lot of hard work come to fruition.”

Project Manager Sue Armstrong added: “It’s taken a lot longer than we had anticipated to get everything open but we are thrilled to have officially opened.

“The services we provide are so vital at the moment with the cost of living crisis and energy prices being sky high. The food we provide would go to waste otherwise, so people needn’t be ashamed of coming in. It helps them with the cost of living and stops food going to waste.

“The renovations took a lot longer than we had hoped but Great Places has been there every step of the way, providing money, advice and support and we are so grateful for what they have provided.

“We are in a prime spot in the centre of Morecambe and we have big plans to make the centre a real hub for our local community.”

Great Places customer Freya Setterfield has found the food pantry a huge bonus, especially as she has four small children.

She said: “I see coming to the pantry as a positive things as it’s a win/win. It helps me buy my children healthy food like fruit and vegetables at a price I can afford, which massively reduces my shopping bills and it stops food going to waste which saves the planet.

“It’s an amazing place and I can’t wait to see what it’s going to become over the next few years.”


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